Challenging behavior is indeed a barrier to learning in schools. Consider behaviors that are persistent over time, significantly intense and prolonged, and/or not responsive to developmentally appropriate interventions as “challenging” behaviors.

Your Central Rivers AEA Team Representatives can help school teams through the process of conducting functional behavioral assessments (FBA) with students that are identified for special education services or students that are not identified for services. Once a behavioral function has been determined, the next step is the design of a behavior intervention plan (BIP) and the use of tools to monitor the student’s behavioral change and the implementation of the plan by school staff.

“In order for anything to change, someone has to start acting differently.”  Chip & Dan Heath, from the book Switch

Make a Referral

Who we are

The Central Rivers AEA Behavior Resource Team is a multi-disciplinary team of Central Rivers AEA special education support staff with expertise in assessment and intervention for students with challenging behaviors.

What we offer

When a student’s behavior is interfering with learning, it is best practice and required by federal and state law to conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and develop a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). We can help!

We provide

The Central Rivers AEA Behavior Resource Team provides two types of consultation assistance within a level process.  The first level of assistance provides coaching for the assigned AEA team rep to the school building.  That consultation will be completed in a coaching format with a specific person from our team. (Please see the Make a Referral section for details)  The second level, following the coaching consultations, is a referral that would involve student-centered meetings planned and held with numerous staff from the target student’s school team  This level of consultation is provided to school teams to assess behavior, analyze the data and assist in planning behavioral interventions for students identified for special education services or students within the general education setting. These consultation services are tailored to meet the needs of the student from the referring school team.

On-site consultation services for school teams at the second level of consultation, might include:

  • ABC observations
  • Preference analysis
  • Functional analysis
  • Antecedent analysis
  • Concurrent operant analysis
  • Data analysis
  • Design of a behavior intervention plan
  • Launching a behavior intervention plan


Do you have questions? Want to know more? Get in touch with us!

Cedar Falls AEA Office

Name Title Email
Sandy Lichty
Special Education Consultant, Challenging Behavior Specialist
 Rusti Sparks  Special Education Consultant
 Krista Hennager  School Psychologist
 Justin Janssen  School Psychologist

Clear Lake AEA Office

Name Title Email
Sandy Lichty Special Education Consultant

Marshalltown AEA Office

Name Title Email
Somer Muller Special Education Consultant
 Samantha Peska  Special Education Consultant

Co-Administration Leads

Name Title Email
Edie Penno Regional Administrator
 Justin Stockdale  Regional Administrator
 Melissa Hesner  Regional Administrator


Resource documents (Print off and fill out)

Interview Assessment Tools

  • Student Interview
  • Teacher Interview
  • Parent Interview
  • Forced Choice Reinforcement Menu
  • Forced Choice Early Childhood Reinforcement Menu

Observation Assessment Tools

Behavioral Checklists

  • Problem Behavior Questionnaire
  • Functional Assessment Screening Tool

Informational Resources